ALUPROF Awarded Cradle to Cradle Certificate
We are delighted to announce that ALUPROF S.A. has received another prestigious product verification. This time, it is the Cradle to Cradle certificate issued by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, which is “dedicated to powering innovation for the circular economy through products that have a positive impact on people and planet”1.
The Cradle to Cradle concept
The Institute outlines the function of the certification as follows:
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products made for the circular economy. Product designers, manufacturers and brands around the world rely on the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard as a transformative pathway for designing and making products with a positive impact on people and planet. (…) a growing number of brands, organizations and standards also recognize Cradle to Cradle Certified as a preferred product standard for responsible purchasing decisions2.
The underlying concept of Cradle to Cradle is for every part of every product to be recyclable. The principle was set out by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart in a book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002). There, they describe the idea of moving away from the industrial model of cradle to grave where a product’s life cycle ends with the removal of the waste that it leaves, in other words, a cycle of production > use > waste removal. The new doctrine posits the reuse of materials previously used in products and a shift to a circular economy. Cradle to Cradle suggests that industry should protect and enrich ecosystems and nature’s biological metabolism. At the same time, it should maintain a safe and efficient product life cycle.
ALUPROF’s Cradle to Cradle Certified™ systems
The certification is not obligatory. However, ALUPROF carried out the necessary audits, which not only encompassed its production process and management methods., but also subjected its system design process and suppliers to in-depth analysis. The audit was conducted by experts from SGS, “the world’s leading inspection, verification testing and certification company”3.
In order to obtain a Cradle to Cradle certificate, product must undergo an assessment covering five crucial performance categories, namely, “material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness”4. An achievement level of Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum is assigned in each of the five categories. The levels represent increasingly rigorous criteria and the levels are intended to encourage continuous improvement over time, with renewal of the certification required every two years.
The scope of the certification
The aspects of a product that the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ standard encompasses include the design of a given product, the manufacturing process, its impact on human life, its effect on human health and its environmental footprint. Relationships with suppliers are also reviewed, as are the organisation’s management methods.
The areas assessed include:
- the safety of the materials used. Products should be made using materials which are non-toxic and safe for people and the environment alike;
- reutilisation of materials. A product should be designed so that, once its life cycle comes to an end, every component part can be recycled and used again;
- minimised energy requirements. Energy consumption should be based on renewable sources to avoid creating air pollution;
- water management. Natural water resources should not be affected by the manufacturing process and new, innovative solutions for saving water should be sought;
- social responsibility. The entire production process must be grounded in the principles of social and environmental responsibility and due consideration must be given to its impact on both those spheres. At the same time, all human rights must be observed, the chain of supply must adhere to the C2C principles and the management methods employed by the organisation itself need to be of the highest standard.
Further information about the institute and certification can be found at https://www.c2ccertified.org/.